Carrie Lam and Hong Kong

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said she’ll fully and formally withdraw her/People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping’s extradition bill completely.  She even issued a formal statement claiming that, among other things.  Many are touting this, and the other things, as major concessions to the demonstrators that have been in the streets of Hong Kong in their hundreds of thousands, even millions, for the last several months.

Those protestors have been demanding the bill’s formal and irrevocable withdrawal, Lam’s resignation, and an independent investigation into police misbehaviors during those protest demonstrations, among others things.

Lam, of course, has made no concession at all.

She has said she will not resign.  Indeed, she has said in a carefully orchestrated leak of a “private” conversation that she has no choice but to not resign.

There’s nothing in Lam’s statement about when she will withdraw the extradition bill, only her claim that she’ll do so. Sometime. Aside from that, there is not even a syllable of enforceable commitment that she, or her successor, won’t simply introduce an identical bill at some later time.

In response to the demand for an independent investigation, Lam

claimed that a probe of police enforcement actions is “best handled by the existing and well-established Independent Police Complaints Council.”

This is especially disingenuous.  Lam ignored the plain fact that

[t]he council has authority merely to “observe, monitor, and review” internal police investigations and make recommendations, without the independent power even to summon witnesses. Council members are appointed by Ms Lam, who answers to Beijing.

The rest of Lam’s disingenuous statement is just further commitment that “her” government will investigate itself.

Lam and her fellows must resign (I’m expanding; the good people of Hong Kong have only asked for her resignation).  That’s necessary for the symbolism of the deed, even as it would be only symbolic: the citizens of Hong Kong are allowed to “elect” a government only from candidates approved by the PRC. Lam’s and her fellows’ replacements would only be more of her and her ilk.

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